Ever wonder which states are home to the most billionaires? Forbes has recently released an updated list of the world's billionaires, and a review of the list shows that even though some states seem rather obvious, others might be a little surprising. The United States is also home to five of the world's top 10 cities with the most resident billionaires.
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Home to Silicon Valley and a wealth of celebrities that reside in the Los Angeles area, it's not surprising that this state tops the list for the most billionaires in America. Nearly 90 billionaires, including Steve Jobs of Apple, Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg, plus famed filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, are enjoying this state's desirable climate and proximity to their business interests.
Most of California's billionaires live in Los Angeles, which falls in fifth place on the top 10 billionaire cities of the world. A large number of billionaires also live in the San Francisco area which has earned the eighth spot on the list. (In Silicon Valley, a modest ranch house can sell for $500,000. See Two Roads: Debt or Financial Independence?)
2. New York
New York City tops the list of billionaire cities, and it's also one of the United States' primary business centers. With nearly 70 billionaires claiming residence in the state of New York, many of the big corporations run their offices out of New York City. The state of New York is home to big business billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, Leonard Lauder of Esteé Lauder, fashion mogul Ralph Lauren, David Rockefeller and Donald Trump.
Not only is it one of the largest states, it is also one of the wealthiest. Texas is home to over 40 billionaires, many of whom made their fortunes from the oil and gas industry, though Texas' billionaires aren't just wealthy oil barons. Alice Walton of Walmart calls Texas home, as does Michael Dell of Dell computers. John Paul DeJoria is also residing in Texas, living the dream as a former homeless person turned entrepreneur who co-founded hair care giant Paul Mitchell.
Even though Houston may be known as the oil capital of Texas, this city didn't even make the list for biggest billionaire cities. It's Dallas that ranks number six on the top 10 billionaire cities of the world. (More than 70 years after his death, this man remains one of the great figures of Wall Street. See J.D. Rockefeller: From Oil Baron to Billionaire.)
Florida's beautiful beaches and luxurious lifestyle bring the city to fourth place. With nearly 30 billionaires residing in the state of Florida, including media mogul Ted Turner who started CNN in 1980, heiress of the Campbell Soup empire, Charlotte Colket Weber, and Fred DeLuca who founded Subway, which is now today's leader in number of fast food outlets worldwide.
Perhaps a surprising addition to the list, Illinois is home to 20 billionaires. Chicago tied Sao Paulo for the tenth spot on the top 10 billionaire cities of the world! Many of the state of Illinois' billionaires are members of the Pritzker family, heirs to the Hyatt Hotel chain, though Chicago is also home to television and media superstar Oprah Winfrey. Ty Warner of Beanie Babies fame, and William Wrigley who made his billions from his family's chewing gum empire also reside in the state of Illinois.
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Connecticut is home to 11 billionaires, primarily investors, most of who reside in the town of Greenwich. Providing billionaires with close proximity to New York City, and with a lot more space to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle with big, lavish homes and large estates, this state offers billionaires the best of both worlds.
You might be surprised to find that Michigan has 10 resident billionaires. Michigan is home to Henry Ford's grandson, William Ford Sr., who is the reigning heir of the Ford Motor Company. You'll also find several heirs to the Stryker Corporation's fortune living within the state of Michigan, a company which earned its billions in the field of medical devices. (This man made his dream of bringing the automobile to the masses a reality. See Henry Ford: Industry Mogul And Industrial Innovator.)
Wisconsin is far more than just America's dairy land. This state ties Michigan with 10 resident billionaires, four of which are heirs of the S.C. Johnson family. Wisconsin is also home to John Menard, founder of home improvement retail chain Menard's.
The glitz and glamor of Nevada's Las Vegas makes it a likely choice for some of America's wealthiest, though this state is home to only eight billionaires, most of whom made their billions through hotels and casinos. Among this list of hotel, casino and real estate moguls are self-made billionaires Steve Wynn, Sheldon Adelson and Phillip Ruffin. Nevada is also home to Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta who made their fortunes through their family's casino and the purchase of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2001.
The Bottom Line
It appears that even though the United States' billionaires are spread across the country, they do seem to congregate in a few key regions. Billionaires that are still actively involved in their business interests may elect to live close to the locations where they work or operate their businesses from. Some frugal billionaires may also choose to reside in locations where property taxes might be more favorable for them. It is true that many of the world's billionaires like to live the lifestyle of the ultra wealthy, so selecting a location that provides them with the lifestyle they enjoy and a certain amount of security and privacy is a big part of the equation.